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8 Things to Know About DSM USA

Trustbelt Conference in DSM USA

October 19, 2017

The TrustBelt Conference comes to Greater Des Moines (DSM) on Oct. 22 through 24. The event will convene site selectors and economic development professionals from throughout the Midwest to DSM.

Things to Know About Iowa’s Capital City

1. DSM’s key metrics are trending up

Since 2000, DSM has grown 32 percent. That outpaces all nearby Midwest metros. Since 2010, the region has grown 11 percent. Positive in-migration is a large part of our ability to grow, as well as the region’s ability to attract and retain young professionals. In addition to the population numbers, Real Gross Domestic Product grew by 2 percent in 2015. Since 2010, it has grown by 15 percent. This outpaces other Midwest metros. Our labor force is also growing, as total employment percentage growth is 21.8 percent since 2000, significantly higher than the national number of 9.2 percent.

2. DSM is the best place for Millennials to live in the Midwest

That is according to an in-depth report done by Growella. The numbers speak for themselves. In the last 10 years, the 25-to-44-year-old age group has grown 14 percent, outpacing growth of just 3 percent nationally.

3. DSM is an Insurance and Financial Services Hub

The region has more than 80 insurance companies and the highest concentration of employment in insurance and financial services in the U.S.

4. DSM hosts the ‘Nobel Prize for Agriculture’

Technically, the World Food Prize isn’t affiliated with the Nobel prizes but it was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laurette, Dr. Norman Borlaug. The winner is awarded $250,000 each year and the celebrations attract world leaders to DSM. It is led by the former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Kenneth Quinn. DSM is located in the Cultivation Corridor, where industry leaders from around the globe come to support and sustain the science that feeds the world.

5. DSM is one of the greatest festival cities in the world

Continuing the global theme, DSM was named an International Festival City Award winner in 2017 by the International Festivals & Events Association with the likes of Sydney, Australia and New Taipei City, Taiwan.  DSM hosts some incredible festivals including the internationally acclaimed World Food and Music Festival and the internationally acclaimed Des Moines Arts Festival® to name a few. Both are hosted at the internationally acclaimed Western Gateway Park. DSM is a global region.

6. DSM has a $40 million sculpture park in the middle of the city

Western Gateway Park is well worth a visit year-round as it features 22 of the world's most celebrated artists within the 4.4-acre John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. This is a prime example of our region’s spirit of philanthropy. DSM’s volunteerism rate is 32.9 percent compared with the U.S. rate of 24.9 percent. In 2015, DSM was #1 in per capital giving for the United Way’s campaign.

7. DSM has a thriving technology scene

As part of the Silicon Prairie, we are home to a buzzing startup scene. In fact, in the last three years, we have launched the Global Insurance Accelerator and the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator. Both are mentor-driven startup accelerators focused on helping startups from around the world accelerate their growth and drive innovation in global industries. Also, tech heavy weights, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple have constructed or announced data center projects totaling in the billions of dollars in DSM.

8. DSM is a leader in renewable energy

A total of 37 percent of the state’s electricity is powered by wind thanks to investment in the renewable source. By 2019, it’s anticipated that more than 85 percent of DSM’s energy will be from wind.

Jay Byers

Jay Byers is the CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Iowa Chamber Alliance, on the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Executive Board, Board of Directors and Community Growth Education Foundation, the General Council of the World Chambers Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100.